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Can I Change Attorneys Once Divorce Proceedings are Underway?

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Yes, you can generally change attorneys once divorce proceedings are underway in Missouri, but there are a few important considerations:

  • Court approval: In Missouri, you typically need to get the court’s approval to substitute your attorney during an ongoing divorce case. This involves filing a motion with the court to withdraw your current attorney and enter an appearance for the new attorney.
  • Reasons for change: The court will want to know the reasons for changing attorneys. Common reasons include a breakdown in communication, dissatisfaction with representation, or a conflict of interest.
  • Fees: You will likely need to pay any outstanding fees owed to your previous attorney before they agree to withdraw from the case. The new attorney will also require payment of a new retainer fee.
  • Continuances: Changing attorneys partway through a case may result in requests for continuances (delays) to allow the new attorney time to get up to speed on your case. This can prolong the divorce process.
  • Notification: Your current attorney and your spouse’s attorney must be properly notified of the attorney change according to court rules.

It’s advisable to have your new attorney review your case thoroughly before officially taking over representation to ensure there are no conflicts of interest or other issues. Changing attorneys is permitted, but can add some complexity, so make the decision carefully.

At Raza Family Law Solutions, we practice family law effectively guiding clients through prenuptial and post nuptial agreements, dissolution of marriage, modifications of prior judgments, and resolving child custody disputes. We also help families take a different approach to divorce with mediation and collaborative work.  Contact us for a consultation at (314) 408-5957.

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